The suicides of fashion icon, Kate Spade, and celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain, shocked many people last week, including myself.
Why would celebrities so rich and famous want to take their own life? From the outside, it appeared they had it all (or what many of us aspire to)--wealth, fame, a successful business, a family.
Suicide has rocked our world during our marriage as well. Less than three weeks after we married, one of my husband's groomsman in our wedding and his high school best friend, killed himself.
Recently, within the last few years, the wife of my husband's cousin and two of my husband's fraternity brothers also committed suicide.
Since we married, my husband has attended the funerals of at least four people he was close to who committed suicide who were all under the age of 45. So sad.
If statistics hold true, I bet you too have been personally touched by suicide during your lifetime.
As you may recall, I am a Mel Robbins junkie (author of the "Five Second Rule") and I am on her weekly email list. Mel wrote about Kate Spade's death last week and it was so good, I wanted to share it with you (bold print is my emphasis).
"As you may already know, on Wednesday, visionary fashion designer Kate Spade died by suicide. She was 55 years old and at the height of her career and life.
Seven years ago this October, a very close friend of ours died by suicide. He was the same age as Kate and left behind a beautiful family and a heartbroken community.
When someone you love takes their life, the haunting feeling never leaves you. You can’t help but wish you had done more. You wish you knew just how bad things had become. You wish you knew how much pain your friend, your sister, your father or your neighbor was truly in. And you wish they had had the strength to hold on.
You can have all the money in the world, a wonderful family, career success, and a beautiful smile. Kate Spade and our dear friend Fred had all of that and so much more. Their deaths reveal a powerful fact–it doesn’t mean shit if your mental health is spiraling.
Mental illness lies to you. Your rational mind becomes so eroded you believe you just can’t bear it anymore. (You can). You tell yourself that everyone will be better off without you. (They won’t). Taking your life isn’t selfish. It’s the end of a long battle with mental illness. It’s like a cancer eating away at your brain until your clarity is gone.
If Kate Spade’s death triggers you like it did me, there’s something you can do: connect with someone who you’re worried about or haven’t spoken to in a while. Reach out today. Call them. Check in. Invite them to do something with you. And then keep reaching out.
You never know what someone is going through unless you ask them. And the thing we all need to know most in this world is that we matter to someone. Mental illness gets worse the more isolated you feel. The more isolated you feel, the harder it is to reach out. That’s why it is so important for us to check in with each other. You just don’t know what someone is going through unless you ask.
And if YOU are struggling right now or feel disconnected and isolated and scared of the things in your mind… KNOW THIS: you matter, it gets better, and there are people who are here to help you get better. Listen to your soul and 5-4-3-2-1 pick up the phone and talk to someone." --Mel Robbins
Let's work together to end the stigma of mental illness so that those afflicted may be more likely to seek treatment.
Oh, and reach out to someone today that you haven't heard from in a while to touch base. You never know what positive impact you may have on their life with that seemingly small gesture.
Kristen "Suicide Sucks" Marks
P.S. If you are struggling with depression or know someone who might be, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now: 800-273-8255